Local Politics

N.C. leaders travel to Washington to seek school grants

Posted March 16, 2010 4:01 a.m. EDT
Updated March 16, 2010 6:54 p.m. EDT

— Gov. Bev Perdue and state school officials spent Tuesday morning trying to convince a federal panel that North Carolina deserves to receive one of the federal government's "Race to the Top" school reform grants.

Perdue, Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson and State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison lead a group to explain and defend the state's proposal before a selection committee in Washington.

“We were interviewed by a team of people from across the country who asked very probing, good questions,” Perdue said after arriving back in Raleigh on Tuesday afternoon. “We feel very hopeful.”

North Carolina was one of 16 states named finalists for more than $4 billion in grants to reward states using innovative ideas to improve student performance. The finalists were invited to Washington.

The committee will submit scores to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan for the final selection in April.

North Carolina applied for $469 million over four years in part to expand computer-based assessments of students.